|Eastern Conference - Semifinals - Best of 7 - Game 6 - IND Leads 3-2|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||0||2-3||2-3||88.2||39.2||42.2%||45.8||88.2||46.8||43.2%||56.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.0||45.3||36-80||44.7%||7-19||36.1%||18-23||77.4%||53||10||20||21||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||100.9||50.5||38-82||45.6%||8-22||36.1%||18-24||75.6%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||94.4||43.0||35-80||43.6%||7-20||37.0%||17-23||76.4%||52||10||19||21||7||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||92.1||46.5||34-82||41.8%||7-20||34.4%||16-22||75.6%||50||10||18||22||7||13||5|
|vs opponents averaging||100.2||50.2||37-83||45.2%||8-22||35.9%||18-23||75.5%||50||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||95.5||46.4||35-82||43.0%||7-20||34.9%||18-23||78.1%||50||10||20||21||7||13||4|
|Last 5 Games||2-3||-1.2||3-2||2-3||88.2||46.8||43.2%||56.2||88.2||39.2||42.2%||45.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||99.7||50.8||38-84||45.7%||8-20||37.8%||15-21||72.5%||51||11||23||21||8||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||100||50.1||37-83||45.2%||8-21||36.0%||18-23||75.6%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||99.2||51.0||38-83||45.9%||7-19||36.0%||16-21||74.8%||49||10||23||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||98.3||49.5||37-80||45.4%||7-21||35.0%||18-23||76.2%||50||10||22||20||8||15||4|
|vs opponents averaging||99.6||49.7||37-82||45.0%||8-21||35.6%||18-24||75.7%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||97.8||49.3||37-80||45.7%||8-21||35.4%||17-22||76.6%||50||9||21||20||8||15||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: INDIANA 94.7, WASHINGTON 95.2|
|5/15/2014||@ WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/15/2014||INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|INDIANA: GUARDS: GEORGE HILL is less of a creator and more of a game-manager/scorer, which fits fine in this starting five . . . LANCE STEPHENSON continues to be an enigma. His speed pushing the ball in transition is an asset, but his terrible shooting and bizarre decision-making often makes him a liability in the half court . . . C.J. WATSON has proven to be a capable second-unit point guard, but he's on his third team in three years because he's managed to give away two playoff games with monumentally bad moments . . . ORLANDO JOHNSON is unlikely to see meaningful minutes, but his role should grow slightly now that Gerald Green is gone. FORWARDS: This is PAUL GEORGE'S team. Once a do-it-all role player, he's now polished enough to create his own offense . . . As expected, DAVID WEST bounced back in his second season off a torn ACL. He's still deadly as a mid-range shooter, a savvy passer and a strong rebounder . . . LUIS SCOLA slides into Tyler Hansbrough's old role as a second-unit banger, and insurance for West and Roy Hibbert . . . DANNY GRANGER is in no-man's land. He's not better than Paul George, and probably no longer an upgrade over Lance Stephenson. His best asset may be his expiring deal . . . CHRIS COPELAND can't defend, but gives the Pacers a three-point threat . . . SOLOMON HILL doesn't figure to contribute this season. CENTERS: ROY HIBBERT proved capable of handling more minutes last season, but Indy will likely still be cautious with their asthmatic 7-foot-2 center during the regular season . . . IAN MAHINMI is back to give his six fouls and move some bodies out of the paint.|
|WASHINGTON: GUARDS: Late last year, JOHN WALL finally started to fulfill his promising talent. He got wherever he wanted on the court, and the Wizards were very tough to guard with all the shooters surrounding him . . . BRADLEY BEAL and Wall should mesh beautifully. Beal is a potentially elite shooter, and he rebounds very well for a guard . . . ERIC MAYNOR is fully healthy again after tearing his ACL two seasons ago. He can play some alongside Wall, but mostly he'll be the league's best back-up point guard again . . . GLEN RICE JR. doesn't shoot it nearly as well as his father, but he's an athlete who could break into the rotation down the line . . . GARRETT TEMPLE is insurance in case Wall or Maynor goes down. FORWARDS: The Wizards need NENʒS low post offense. It seems inevitable that they'll have to cap his minutes . . . OTTO PORTER is likely to step into the starting lineup early on. They need his defense, as he can guard twos through fours . . . MARTELL WEBSTER will platoon with Porter, providing another outstanding shooter for Wall to feed . . . TREVOR ARIZA is playing out the string on an untradeable deal . . . TREVOR BOOKER has some use as a screener and low-post banger, but not much else . . . AL HARRINGTON may be inefficient, but he can score points in a hurry and is a decent defender'JAN VESELY is still trying to figure out the NBA, though it's too early to give up on his athleticism . . . CHRIS SINGLETON can defend, but he's no more than a garbage-time player due to his atrocious offense. CENTERS: EMEKA OKAFOR may be absurdly overpaid, but he's settled in as a passable starter who helps defensively and doesn't hurt on offense. He'll also miss the beginning of the season with a herniated disc . . . With Okafor's deal expiring at the end of the year, KEVIN SERAPHIN is auditioning to be Washington's center of the future. After showing promise two seasons ago, he was a disaster last season.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (INDIANA-WASHINGTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with details, quotes. Should stand. With AP Photos.)
*Pacers-Wizards Preview* ========================
Indiana At Washington, Game Six, 8:00 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's unclear exactly when John Wall got his mojo back. Maybe it started on the plane ride to Indianapolis, when he watched movies and remained unusually quiet while thinking to himself: "If we lost this series, I'd put it all on my shoulders."
Maybe it was before the game, when he confessed his frustration to Randy Wittman and was promptly admonished by the coach: "He was like, `I never want to hear you say that ever again, because I know how confident you are in yourself and I know how competitive you are."'
Maybe it was when teammate Marcin Gortat, who had also been struggling in the series, pounded Wall on the chest after the starting lineups were announced and offered support "no matter what."
One thing is clear: If the Washington Wizards manage the improbable and overcome a 3-1 series deficit against the Indiana Pacers, the turning point will be the moment their All-Star point guard stopped playing like a playoff novice.
"You can get down on yourself pretty easy," Wall said.
Unable to hit a shot or come through in clutch late-game situations in the first four games, Wall was all over the stat sheet in Tuesday's Game 5 rout: 27 points, five rebounds, five assists, five turnovers. He and the Wizards stayed alive, but only one-third of the would-be comeback is complete as they return home for Thursday's Game 6, trailing 3-2 in the series.
To get it done, they'll need similar efforts from Wall, whom teammates have dubbed the Wizards' "head of the snake."
"For the first time in 102, 103 games that we had this season, I seen this guy that didn't want to talk to anybody," Gortat said. "He didn't want to interact with anybody. He didn't rap before the game. He didn't laugh before the game. I guess it's just a lot of things around basketball that has influence on him. ... But at the end of the day, I'm with him. End of the day, I'm going to jump in the fire behind this guy."
Wall was 16 for 51 from the field, including 1 for 11 from 3-point range, in the first four games. The pressure of the postseason seemed to get the better of him when he unwisely rushed a shot or two and got stripped late in Game 2, then passed up a wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied Game 4.
Still to be determined is whether he has solved his late-game jitters - Tuesday was a 23-point win, so he sat almost the entire fourth quarter - but he finished 11 for 20 from the field in Game 5, including 3 for 6 behind the arc, and he ran the floor with authority.
Wittman said he told Wall before the game: "You go out there and play as aggressive as you can at both ends of the floor and don't worry about mistakes, and don't worry about made or missed shots. You've got to be aggressive."
"When he's tentative," Wittman added, "that's not John."
Game 5 was a change of pace on many fronts. For one, the Wizards realized that halftime is only 15 minutes long. After losing the third quarter by an average 10 1/2 points through the first four games, Washington pulled away with a 31-14 third period.
Gortat, barely a presence in Games 3 and 4, again proved worthy of his "Polish Hammer" nickname with 31 points and 16 rebounds. The Wizards' rebounding margin of plus-39 (62-23) tied for third highest in NBA playoff history.
"We should never get outrebounded by 40," Indiana's Paul George said. "It was like their life was dependent on those rebounds."
Now the Wizards have to figure out how to bring the road show home. They are 5-1 away in this year's playoffs and just 1-3 at the Verizon Center.
"Everybody knows how we play at home. Quite honestly, we struggle at home," Gortat said. "It's going to be huge pressure."
Much of the pressure will again be on Wall, with the Pacers attempting to stop the mojo revival and avoid a Game 7.
"John actually hit some shots and things like that," Indiana's George Hill said. "As a guard I've got to get better and try to make it tough on him again, and not let him get off like that."
|Last Updated: 12/20/2014 9:38:42 AM EST|